Zero Punctuation: BioShock: Infinite

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TopazFusion:
I think I also missed the significance of the 4 gay blokes.

Well, time for a replay...

God only Knows came out in the 60's. Hint hint.

He didn't like the ending of the first Bioshock?

He must have gotten the "evil" ending, because the "good" ending stuck with me like few other endings have and almost moved me to tears.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

*snip*

20 Minutes? Not quite. I think you are exaggerating quite a bit here. And the question is how else could it have been done? The ending required a lot of exposition, and that couldn't exactly be handed to you while you were fighting. As far as ending sequences go, it was actually refreshingly interactive, requiring you do actually do the actions, which increased your identification with the character and hence the emotional impact.

Ok, i was exaggerating, i didn't actually meassure the time when i was going through it, but then again, considering it is "interactive", you could easily prolonge the time neaded to 20 minutes. But obviously that's not the point, that's never the point of exaggeration, point is, it is pretty long, but then again, compared to other story based-games, this appears to be in the current trend. I think, they could have just made it something like a cut-scene, similar to the conclusion from the former Shock titles, because honestly, at that point in the game i would've had nothing against it to just lay back, relax and see what was coming to me, because the "identification", or immersion or whatever, was pretty much gone for me, considering i noticed throughout the game that what i was doing would have had no real effect on the outcome and that all the points you were presented with a "choice", were just creating the illusion of choice in the first place.


but then again, every form of immersion is subjective, that's what it is all about, the question is how the player character is designed to deliver this immersion, if you are just "watching over the shoulder", as you guide the character through the game, but know it is an independet character, or if you are able to make every/most meaningfull decisions and thereby influence the character and the game itself (and some other possible forms to create a character). BioShock (and BS2) had a "nameless, faceless" protagonist, of whom you could still get to know some interesting background story, but which were basically "blank slates" to be filled by the player, down to several game influencing situations and "individual" endings derived from them. This makes for very good immersion, close to no matter who is playing. For DeWitt, he has a face and a name and a story being a crucial part of the main story itself, which is determined to break the immersion with some players going through the game. Now, i don't even see this as one of the major problems of the game, but it conflicts with the point of possible identification throughout the game and also with, as already mentioned, some of the "illusive choices", which then have no real impact throughout the game

and honestly, how interactive was the ending realy? You can just take a rest and do nothing, or jump into her face and Elizabeth wouldn't mind, because it was all scripted and didn't care for how you "interacted" with the game anymore, it's just the question of "when to move on", as you trigger the script along the way. I tried to interact with the ending

but it simply doesn't matter! While i also think this is kinda nice looking at the conclusion itself, it could have also had no matter while showing a cut-scene.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

*snip*

There is a difference between "hype" and false advertising. A hype is something mainly generated by the playerbase (though it can be fanned by the publishers) and the developers are probably the people who have the least to do with it. Hyping up a game is always bad. You can never fulfill hyped up expectations. That is why if you, as a gamer, allow yourself to get hyped up for a game, you are making a mistake that will likely sour your enjoyment of the game. We know advertisements and trailers make things look more awesome than they probably are. We know that for all the advertisement, the game will likely have at least a few significant flaws. However, insofar as you are accusing the game of flat out false advertisement:

Soak:

Most of the exciting stuff in the trailers is gone...

That is simply factually false. The Trailers did not spoil actual scenes from the game, that is true. But all the elements were there. The Trailers showcased no feature that wasn't actually in the game. The only thing different is the sequence of events, and that was perfectly fine, as it actually meant the devs did do the extra work to create realistic trailers without spoiling any actual story.

Ehm, yeah, OBJECTION or something ^^
Hype and false advertising are obviously entwined most of the time, as for this case. As i was trying to point out already, if ME3 wouldn't have had such good titles leading to it, it wouldn't have been hyped and if the developers/marketing wouldn't have promoted an amazingly complex ending and 'yadidadida', it probably wouldn't have been raged about. As for the relation of developers and marketing: Well, i'm not sitting in a game-studio myself, but i have been sitting in a company as a worker in conflict with the marketing of the company myself and i had to leave. I don't and can't really know (unless they would make it transparent in any way), how much "conflict" there ever was between the developers and the marketing in this case, but i do know that the marketing can not promote, what the developers aren't providing them with, considering gameplay trailers, or at least, the developers would have a choice to differentiate themselves from the marketing done, if it isn't showing what they are actually doing - though i can understand that developers often wouldn't do this, considering it will likely cost them their jobs. However, if you know about "injustice", are in the position to, but won't act about it, you make yourself responsible of "failure to assist" or what's it called in english, i don't know for sure; though this is not even supposed to be a trial and probably would not hold up against well payed lawyers saying otherwise/ contracts made which insist, developers won't talk about anything their publisher wouldn't want them to talk about in the first place, but it tells us something about their moral.
However, they made "false advertisment" and by that incited the hype, promoting things throughout the whole course of development, which then where missing in the actual game!

For some examples:
earliest gameplay video
1:30 cool thing, except as i remember something like this never happens in the game
4:00 yeah, i loved it, except you can't do it in the game like this, you just have a charge for dmg and a push for zoning, which you get way to late in the game for my opinion, but you just can't do it like this
4:10 oh yeah, Telekinesis is gone, no more pulling objects towars yourself
4:48 no cannon in the entire game works like this, to bad
6:10 again, no Telekinesis available, not at all
6:28 impossible to do in the game
7:10 oh yeah, one of the most interesting things promoted throughout all the trailers, gone
7:35 again, no Telekinesis
7:40 nope, no object in the game behaves like that
7:55 to cool, but again, never possible within the game
8:50 nope
9:12 yes, here they presented the "Elizabeth has to use her powers with restraint, or she will harm herself" premise, which appeared super awesome to most who had watched the trailer but is now gone

for one presented throughoutthe middle of development
1:00 here we see Comstock as a politician, this was further promoted in interviews
1:08 recognize how the Vigor gets a counter instead of a salt bar, well until then they said they would want to make the Vigors with a limited number of uses for each bottle found, which they then dropped (probably explains why you find so many Vigor-bottles later in the game which then just turn into salt)
4:15 never happens in any way comparable
6:30 no
8:00 as already presented through the last few minutes and getting to its peak in this very moment, in the game you never really have the posibility to make a decision like this, or if you want to just qietly move on or fight to do anything in the first place. Now you could point out the parts were you could "steal", or one particular with a potion in some kind of "shop" you could scip and go along, or "fight the owners for"... but those parts are so poorly designed, really! For the potion it is an invisuble line you have to pass somewhat infront of the potion, which will trigger a script making the peops standing before it to immediatly attack and the "stealing" is so random and with so little consequences, that i first didn't even recognize the difference and when i opened the first crate but didn't even take anything from it i notice "wait, wasn't the subtext red or something? what's that supposed to mean", but close to everyone around was already starting to attack and later, i didn't care anymore, because it would barely make a difference
8:25 no, never a point on the game
8:45 recognize the tear saying "doorway"? never appears in the game. an interwiev stated, that tears like these would accure to possibly bypass fights, which would have been cool, but was dropped
9:20 to bad, but no
10:15 remember the "superpower limit" for Elizabeth, kinda different, but still up in this trailer. Maybe i didn't use the tears in the game enough, because in most fights i only needed one or two, but i never recognized any restrictions, but it seemed like you could switch just as you wanted, whenever you wanted
12:00 i can't remember any skyline where you had the need to swith mid-riding, if in any cases, you only had obstacles to restrict parts before you would have cleared them away
12:45 where are all these dudes from? i mean, when i played through all the zepelins you could enter to bring them down were pretty much empty inside, or are there more on hard?

...and looking through the interweb these were actually the only two "major" trailers, later ones get shorter and shorter and show/tell less and less about the game. However, they never "corrected" the announcements they made or showed us throughougt development, on the contrary, in many interviews and announcements, i'm now to lazy to look up, they stated more enthusiasticly, how awesome the pieces they showed us would come together and form a complex world of choices on how to navigate through Columbia and how to resolve the problems at hand. Sure, they are allowed to change things, i can even imagine how sometimes developers have to be dissapointed, if some feature they wanted to implement then gets scratched in the process, because of various different reasons, but when it changes the majority of the gameplay you already showed to players, wouldn't it be good to say so? In a way, these trailers work like those/ the one for "Aliens: Colonial Marines" and i don't think i have to tell anyone how that played out? So please, don't try to tell me i would be factually false on this one, or show me how exactly i am.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

*snip*

That is all highly subjective. As I said, the plot certainly has holes, but none of them in any way affect the impact of the story as you play it. The plot and characters are certainly not on the level of good Literature, but they are still a fair bit ahead of the crowd. This goes back to "if you expect the game to be the best of everything ever made, you are going to be disappointed".

Now we could find out what is subjective and what is of measurable quality in a narrative, but i don't really feel like it right now :).
Instead, i would again just like to point out the comparison to the former BioShock: You didn't have to, but you could find out so much about the background stories of all those you encountered (every area, every named and even some unnamed enemies you would find) throughout playing it and even some more (sidestories told about characters you would never encounter, further establishing the whole background story of Rapture - and say what you want, but there are only half the amount of Voxophones in Infinite present and to me many of those appeared to be only half as interesting), plus the actions you took within the game actually had impact on the outcome (not in the best way designed, but it was very cool at the time the game was made and further increases immersion, which isn't as good in Infinite, making it a more complex, better narrated game. I can just imagine how cool it would have been to implement this into Infinite again, that your choices actually matter and that you would get different endings derived from those, blending perfectly into the premise of multiple dimensions. I am sad they didn't do that, yes, that is as subjective as it gets, but they certainly would have had the time and money and other recources to have done it and probably even better than in BioShock. They did otherwise and i respect that as an artistical statement, nonetheless i can still mention it.

Stephen Sossna:

Also I can't find a single point about the combat that the first Bioshock did better than infinite. You do remember how tedious the big daddy fights could be, or how not having the right ammunition at hand could screw you up, of how all enemies where basically the same? There is a lot of selective perception going on in regards to Bioshock 1.

The weapon limit was functionally the same in Bioshock. Sure you could carry all the weapons, but you needed ammo for them, and you could only upgrade 2 to 3 weapons fully, which meant that, in practice, you were pretty much restricted to those. Neither do the vigors have less functionality than the plasmids, the functionality is just differently integrated. The only thing clearly missing is rage, but that always was an inferior possession anyways. Saying the combat in Infinite isn't perfect is fine, but I feel the people heavily criticising it tend to leave out all the interesting ideas that the game at least tried: Sky rail combat, switching between tears, heavy emphasis on positioning and traps.

Oh hell i can find lots of points to complain about the combat! The fact, that they did barely improve the points already criticized in BioShock, while they had said recources, knew about the problems, they could have changed them, but they didn't, is nothing but lazy design. Yes, as already said, the sky-devices are awesome and often make for exciting combat but then again aren't always present (sure if they would, they would become boring again fast), but in a way is even "counter" by so many other points which got even worse:
"Hacking" is now gone, or in a way replaced with that "charm" Vigor, which makes the combat more "fluent", considering you can fire it at any machine and know it now works for you for a set amount of time, but also less complex, compared to the former hacking, where you had to carefully look for the mechanical defences and sometimes plan on how to deal with them and as i liked it even more in BioShock 2, when you wanted to hack them in combat, you often got under preassure not to lose sight of your enemies and the hack-bar, unless you wanted to get toasted one way or another, or both ways. And here are the gears again... which replace the tonics from BioShock, which were well implemented in the game lore, were scattered throughout the game in set places, often secret (and there were lots more secrets in BioShock to reveal) and could make for nice combos, complementing the playstyle you would chose. The gear on the other hand has no connection to the lore (why would my hat set my sky-hook on fire?), is randomized on pickup and therefore may or may not complement your playstyle/ make for good combos (as i already stated in another post, i had a very wicked situation with gear, considering i had one for a long time which was completely useless to me, actually had a malus on what i originally wanted to do ("tunnel sight" or something it's called, one of the few with a malus), but i couldn't switch it out because i wouldn't find another piece for the slot for half the game, while i had one in another slot from close to the start, which would make me close to invulnurable whenever near a sky-device, which made for horribly broken combat). And compared to the Big Daddys (and Big Sisters for that), which you could chose when to fight or when to use for yourself to beat up others, while in Infinite you just get some "heavy hitters" sent against you in scripted situations which then would act like nothing but boring bullet sponges (i remember, when you get before the Bank of Columbia the first time, i big fight breaks out and at some point a handy-man appears. So i would just use the sky-line present to avoid him whenever possible, gun down the legions of other enemies, save him for last and then still need another minute just to finish him off because of his huge health bar).
Not to mention how the major part of gameplay as "super powers" (be it "Psionics", "Plasmids" or now "Vigors") is cut down on every title, making for easier/more simple, but less creative ways to use (Cyclone trap basically got implemented into all other Vigors, but would miss the push-ability, which was one of the best parts about it; Decoy is now implemented in tears, which are only axcessable in set places; Scout is missing in any form; the interaction with surroundings is seldom present and as already mentioned, but in my opinion most dissapointingly, Telekinesis is gone - and no, Undertow isn't Telekinesis, but more of a Sonic Boom which is only accessable for the last /10 of the game).
And while in System/ BioShock you had to "plan" on what to use, which "power to the people" station to use for what weapon upgrade, or on which Plasmid/Tonic to use your ADAM, in Infinite you just throw an amount of (random generated) money at whatever you want to use/try out.
I could probably think of some more examples for their bad combat-design, but already feel pretty save to say: They could and SHOULD have done better than this!

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

*snip*

I get how people who expected the game to be more like system shock are disappointed. But who are you to judge what the developers should have provided? I find that argument terribly pretentious. I have watched that video review people have posted here, and it's main point is, similarily to yours, how the author thinks the game should have been done:
- It should have elaborated on the founders/vox conflict and its implications more. Why? What could the game possibly have said that wouldn't come over as trite? That conflict is so old, there really isn't anything to say about it. No game is obligated to make political statements in regard to every conflict that is part of the story
- There should have been more inventory management and puzzles. Why? Inventory management in Bioshock didn't provide much for the gameplay, and it was actually criticized quite a bit for it's puzzles, which quickly got very, very boring. Now that these puzzles are gone people suddenly complain, as if they had forgotten that everyone thought the puzzles were stupid.

I think that if you honestly go back to Bioshock 1 and make a list of all the pros and cons of this game, the list of cons wouldn't be shorter than in Infinite. And if the game is up there with one of the best FPS/RPGs ever made, then why, really, would anyone be disappointed? Even if you expected the game to be "much better" than the original Bioshock, "pretty much as good as" would still be 9/10, would it not?

Well, i didn't expect Infinite to be more like SystemShock, i didn't even expect it to be "more like" BioShock. As from what i had seen and heard and read throughout the whole process of development i expected it to stand for it's own, but at least be as good as BioShock gameplay-wise. Though, i wasn't even as "hyped" as some others, i confess i was more hyped about Infinite than on any other game so far, but then i never was really hyped about any other game to begin with and i was still skeptical, which "promises" they made through trailers/ interviews and whatnot they would keep in the end.
Now, if i made a list of pros and cons about any Shock title i've played, sure there would be cons on any title, but i never said any of them would be perfect. But as i think about it, Infinite has much more cons and much less pros than any other title and this is simply out of balance (i would like to point out the different recources available to make them again) and even more out of balance considering all the good reviews it got.
So who am i to judge? Well, who is anyone to judge? Seriously, if the majority of "professional critics" isn't able to see and point at any of these flaws, but "blindly" praises Infinite and thereby do nothing but to follow the "hype", they just failed their profession! For myself, i am just a fan (and i rarely consider myself a "fan", but on this one it's true) of the former Shock-titles who sees how the franchise gets grinded down to a generic and for that even "bad" shooter with "some more story to tell" and i tell what i think about it, because it either gets "better again" in the future, or i stop playing and therefore buying the games of the series (which Levine hopes to bring out a title on a regular basis now) and as a customer, i have every right to do so!

Sounds like the Game of The Year has already been decided =D

Yahtzee reviewed the game the way I thought he would: Pointing out how pretentious the game is, but still really enjoying it nonetheless because of its ambition, attention to detail, and how fun the combat is. It is not a perfect game, no game is, but it is still amazing. Even with my negatives (the Siren battles, or how could vigors not be seen as witchcraft in a religious zealot's society) and problems with the story (specifically the motivation of Comstock and why did he need Elizabeth to turn into a monster, and the ending in general) isn't enough to completely throw me off calling this a great game that's worth all the hype and love it's gotten. Still 8 months left in the year, however, so it isn't GOTY just yet, just a candidate.

Soak:

Ok, i was exaggerating, i didn't actually meassure the time when i was going through it, but then again, considering it is "interactive", you could easily prolonge the time neaded to 20 minutes. But obviously that's not the point, that's never the point of exaggeration, point is, it is pretty long, but then again, compared to other story based-games, this appears to be in the current trend. I think, they could have just made it something like a cut-scene,

I would have hated a cutscene, and I think the ending was splendid, but hey, to each his own.

Soak:

Taking it's peak in the scene recent before the end, the confrontation with Comstock. When i had to "intervene" (and it is mandatory, the game just halts until you do it and there is no other option to get out of the situation, so what "choice" is there, but to otherwise stop playing?), i felt nothing more but "pity" (it doesn't quite describe what i actually feld, probably there's a better word, but i can't think of it right now) for Comstock and his motivations, so i would have actually let him live and left him alone in his knowledge that his plan was meant to fail. But nooo, in this sitation the game takes control from me and drowns him, giving him exactly what he wanted?! That is simply bad for immersion, sure it is subjective and some might have sit infront of their monitor thinking "yeah, take that Comstock"

but then again, every form of immersion is subjective, that's what it is all about, the question is how the player character is designed to deliver this immersion, if you are just "watching over the shoulder", as you guide the character through the game, but know it is an independet character, or if you are able to make every/most meaningfull decisions and thereby influence the character and the game itself (and some other possible forms to create a character). BioShock (and BS2) had a "nameless, faceless" protagonist, of whom you could still get to know some interesting background story, but which were basically "blank slates" to be filled by the player, down to several game influencing situations and "individual" endings derived from them. This makes for very good immersion, close to no matter who is playing. For DeWitt, he has a face and a name and a story being a crucial part of the main story itself, which is determined to break the immersion with some players going through the game. Now, i don't even see this as one of the major problems of the game, but it conflicts with the point of possible identification throughout the game and also with, as already mentioned, some of the "illusive choices", which then have no real impact throughout the game

This isn't even a question of immersion being subjective, it's an issue of conflating immersion and identification. In Bioshock 1, you were meant to project your character onto the protagonist and identify. In Infinite, the character has it's own personality and will act accordingly. You can be immersed in someone esle's life without agreeing with all their actions.

I also get the feeling you missed a crucial part of the plot: Constants and variables - has killed, kill, will kill. You coudln't influence these decisions because they are constants. What you could influence were the variables. And these were certainly not illusory, as I will explain below:

Soak:

yes, depending on weither you attempt to throw the ball at the announcer or the couple has an influence on a later situation and makes the couple either give you a gear, or attack you, but honestly, it still is nothing more than illusion and has no real impact throughout the game, starting with how the situation at the ralley resolves, neither later, when a body-count of +-2 makes no difference at all. and the other "choices" have even less meaning/impact throughout the game

By what standard do you call these choices illusory? Because they didn't result in a different ending cutscene?

Soak:

Ehm, yeah, OBJECTION or something ^^
Hype and false advertising are obviously entwined most of the time, as for this case. As i was trying to point out already, if ME3 wouldn't have had such good titles leading to it, it wouldn't have been hyped and if the developers/marketing wouldn't have promoted an amazingly complex ending and 'yadidadida', it probably wouldn't have been raged about. As for the relation of developers and marketing: Well, i'm not sitting in a game-studio myself, but i have been sitting in a company as a worker in conflict with the marketing of the company myself and i had to leave. I don't and can't really know (unless they would make it transparent in any way), how much "conflict" there ever was between the developers and the marketing in this case, but i do know that the marketing can not promote, what the developers aren't providing them with, considering gameplay trailers, or at least, the developers would have a choice to differentiate themselves from the marketing done, if it isn't showing what they are actually doing - though i can understand that developers often wouldn't do this, considering it will likely cost them their jobs. However, if you know about "injustice", are in the position to, but won't act about it, you make yourself responsible of "failure to assist" or what's it called in english, i don't know for sure; though this is not even supposed to be a trial and probably would not hold up against well payed lawyers saying otherwise/ contracts made which insist, developers won't talk about anything their publisher wouldn't want them to talk about in the first place, but it tells us something about their moral.

I've never played any ME title, so I wouldn't know about that (though I did notice people hated the ending). Anyways, my point was that sure, you can use false advertising to spur a hype, but that doesn't mean that a hype cannot form without it.

Soak:

However, they made "false advertisment" and by that incited the hype, promoting things throughout the whole course of development, which then where missing in the actual game!

Considering the first trailer, I can somewhat agree. I honestly didn't even know that trailer, and apprently that was for the best. It is clear that the trailer features preciously little actual gameplay and is mostly scripted. Many of the concepts somewhat made it into the game (huge guns are certainly there, as are water puddles to amplify shock, though that is arguably much less awesome-looking). The biggest Problem is that the trailer heavily emphasizes the telekinesis aspect, which apparently was completely scrapped.

That said, this is a three year old trailer, so I really don't think it would be fair to claim that this is the thing everyone based their decision to buy the game on.

The second trailer you mentioned is obviously quite a different beast, because it was pretty much the main promotion for the game during development. And it is very faithfull to the actual game.

1:00 Comstock as a politician, so what? The Trailer did say nothing about the storyline, so that is just a random detail.
1:08 counter for vigors: Obviously a balancing consideration. What is wrong with the salt system?
4:15 Happens almost exactly the same way in the game. How you can say that the in-game scene is "not comparable" is entirely beyond me.
6:30 no - just a scripted scene. The point?
8:00 So in the trailer, we allegedly see "real choice" while in the real game, the decisions you listed are "not true choice". You make a long explanation, but none of your reasoning has anything to do with choice.
8:25 True, that mechanic isn't used. Wouldn't change much though, would it? It's not like the battles aren't tactical as is.
8:45 There are "doorway" tears, in fact there are plenty. They have just been changed to freight hooks above doors, probably because that is easier to code.
9:20 Yeah, that would have been cool. Moving train cars and movable tears are actually missing.
10:15 So you wanted additional limits in the game? I cannot see how that is a gameplay feature that was ommitted.
12:00 Oh I switched mid-riding plenty. You usually don't have to, but those thing are in the game. What is actually missing is the moving train cars.
12:45 Well, I had plenty of dudes on my airships, on hard. So apparently, the answer is yes. In fact, this scene is pretty much exactly the same in the game.

So we are sitting at one thing in the trailer that is missing. Two things if you are generous: Moving tears in general and moving skyline cars. I am not surprised these things are missing, but if you want you can call that false advertising. But you are certainly not claiming that exact feature was what made you buy the game.

Soak:

Now we could find out what is subjective and what is of measurable quality in a narrative, but i don't really feel like it right now :).

That is probably wise, yes.

Soak:

Instead, i would again just like to point out the comparison to the former BioShock: You didn't have to, but you could find out so much about the background stories of all those you encountered (every area, every named and even some unnamed enemies you would find) throughout playing it and even some more (sidestories told about characters you would never encounter, further establishing the whole background story of Rapture - and say what you want, but there are only half the amount of Voxophones in Infinite present and to me many of those appeared to be only half as interesting)

The "half the voxphones" criticism ignores that you actually get to meet quite a few columbia inhabitants in person, whereas in Bioshock, your only interaction with the inhabitants was through Voxphones. I feel that this sort of comparison isn't quite honest. And of course just saying they are "less interesting" comes down to personal taste. I guess they did not feel the need to display everyday Columbia life via Voxphone the way they displayed everyday Rapture life because, you know, you actually see the everyday Columbia life.

Soak:

, plus the actions you took within the game actually had impact on the outcome (not in the best way designed, but it was very cool at the time the game was made and further increases immersion, which isn't as good in Infinite, making it a more complex, better narrated game. I can just imagine how cool it would have been to implement this into Infinite again, that your choices actually matter and that you would get different endings derived from those, blending perfectly into the premise of multiple dimensions. I am sad they didn't do that, yes, that is as subjective as it gets, but they certainly would have had the time and money and other recources to have done it and probably even better than in BioShock. They did otherwise and i respect that as an artistical statement, nonetheless i can still mention it.

Yes, you can mention it, but if you seriously argue that the Bioshock 1 ending is not utter Bullshit compared to the Infinite ending, I think you have a bad taste in storytelling, no offense. The morality System in Bioshock 1 completely undermined the entire first three Acts of the game, but I think the criticism of that ending is well documented so there is no need going over it here again.

Soak:

Oh hell i can find lots of points to complain about the combat! The fact, that they did barely improve the points already criticized in BioShock, while they had said recources, knew about the problems, they could have changed them, but they didn't, is nothing but lazy design.

Actually, I encourage you to play one of the more recent shooters that is known for good gunplay, say Max Payne 3. Once I did that, I realized just how well implemented Bioshock combat was. Shooting from cover without pressing extra buttons, getting around the map quickly, actualy tactical choices. But yeah, the bullet-spongy enemies are a big issue, especially in the last third of the game.

Soak:

"Hacking" is now gone, or in a way replaced with that "charm" Vigor, which makes the combat more "fluent", considering you can fire it at any machine and know it now works for you for a set amount of time, but also less complex, compared to the former hacking, where you had to carefully look for the mechanical defences and sometimes plan on how to deal with them and as i liked it even more in BioShock 2, when you wanted to hack them in combat, you often got under preassure not to lose sight of your enemies and the hack-bar, unless you wanted to get toasted one way or another, or both ways.

I haven't played Bioshock 2, but hacking in Bioshock one lost it's novelty factor really quickly. It was terribly easy and boring. But thats subjective too, I guess.

Soak:

And here are the gears again... which replace the tonics from BioShock, which were well implemented in the game lore, were scattered throughout the game in set places, often secret (and there were lots more secrets in BioShock to reveal) and could make for nice combos, complementing the playstyle you would chose. The gear on the other hand has no connection to the lore (why would my hat set my sky-hook on fire?), is randomized on pickup and therefore may or may not complement your playstyle/ make for good combos (as i already stated in another post, i had a very wicked situation with gear, considering i had one for a long time which was completely useless to me, actually had a malus on what i originally wanted to do ("tunnel sight" or something it's called, one of the few with a malus), but i couldn't switch it out because i wouldn't find another piece for the slot for half the game, while i had one in another slot from close to the start, which would make me close to invulnurable whenever near a sky-device, which made for horribly broken combat).

With that I can probably agree, though in terms of gameplay effect, once you had a few pieces of gear, the difference to the tonics is neglibible at best.

Soak:

And compared to the Big Daddys (and Big Sisters for that), which you could chose when to fight or when to use for yourself to beat up others, while in Infinite you just get some "heavy hitters" sent against you in scripted situations which then would act like nothing but boring bullet sponges (i remember, when you get before the Bank of Columbia the first time, i big fight breaks out and at some point a handy-man appears. So i would just use the sky-line present to avoid him whenever possible, gun down the legions of other enemies, save him for last and then still need another minute just to finish him off because of his huge health bar).

I don't get what makes the "choose the start of the fight" bit so important. It basically gave you a tactical advantage over the big daddies.

Soak:

Not to mention how the major part of gameplay as "super powers" (be it "Psionics", "Plasmids" or now "Vigors") is cut down on every title, making for easier/more simple, but less creative ways to use (Cyclone trap basically got implemented into all other Vigors, but would miss the push-ability, which was one of the best parts about it; Decoy is now implemented in tears, which are only axcessable in set places; Scout is missing in any form; the interaction with surroundings is seldom present and as already mentioned, but in my opinion most dissapointingly, Telekinesis is gone - and no, Undertow isn't Telekinesis, but more of a Sonic Boom which is only accessable for the last /10 of the game).
And while in System/ BioShock you had to "plan" on what to use, which "power to the people" station to use for what weapon upgrade, or on which Plasmid/Tonic to use your ADAM, in Infinite you just throw an amount of (random generated) money at whatever you want to use/try out.

So the only things actually missing are scout and telekinesis, and what was added is a trap function for every vigor, plus vigor combos. Totally cut down the complexity! And it should be noted that you do not have unlimited money, so weapon and vigor upgrades are still limited (though arguably a little less so). I only had 3 weapons and 4 vigors really upgraded.

Soak:

Well, i didn't expect Infinite to be more like SystemShock, i didn't even expect it to be "more like" BioShock. As from what i had seen and heard and read throughout the whole process of development i expected it to stand for it's own, but at least be as good as BioShock gameplay-wise. Though, i wasn't even as "hyped" as some others, i confess i was more hyped about Infinite than on any other game so far, but then i never was really hyped about any other game to begin with and i was still skeptical, which "promises" they made through trailers/ interviews and whatnot they would keep in the end.
Now, if i made a list of pros and cons about any Shock title i've played, sure there would be cons on any title, but i never said any of them would be perfect. But as i think about it, Infinite has much more cons and much less pros than any other title and this is simply out of balance (i would like to point out the different recources available to make them again) and even more out of balance considering all the good reviews it got.
So who am i to judge? Well, who is anyone to judge? Seriously, if the majority of "professional critics" isn't able to see and point at any of these flaws, but "blindly" praises Infinite and thereby do nothing but to follow the "hype", they just failed their profession! For myself, i am just a fan (and i rarely consider myself a "fan", but on this one it's true) of the former Shock-titles who sees how the franchise gets grinded down to a generic and for that even "bad" shooter with "some more story to tell" and i tell what i think about it, because it either gets "better again" in the future, or i stop playing and therefore buying the games of the series (which Levine hopes to bring out a title on a regular basis now) and as a customer, i have every right to do so!

Sure you are entitled to your opinion, but whether you can convince other people to share it is quite a different matter. I think whether or not this game is better than the first Bioshock is a question of taste. I guess if you liked the older "shock" titles, Bioshock 1 would appeal more to you, but Infinite is definetly in the same Ballpark as far as quality goes.

Stephen Sossna:

So the only things actually missing are scout and telekinesis, and what was added is a trap function for every vigor, plus vigor combos. Totally cut down the complexity! And it should be noted that you do not have unlimited money, so weapon and vigor upgrades are still limited (though arguably a little less so). I only had 3 weapons and 4 vigors really upgraded.

Sorry, this is the only part I have input for. By the end of the game on normal I had every single vigor and vigor upgrade, and 5 weapons completely maxed, and while they added some functionality for the vigors they killed them at the same time by not having environmental applications anywhere but a few (and I mean really few) points in the game. Even when their is an environmental hazard, they are so small and in inconvenient places that there isn't really a reason to use them.

Aardvaarkman:
How was I being a jerk? I was just speaking factually. I never called you names or did anything personal, I was just discussing technical issues.

I told you before I do not know what cause the problem. I do know however that our connections are problematic thus most lightly. If you wish to continue with this level of enquiry I recommend you send me a personal message via the facilities provided.

The connection topic has no relevancy towards the topic at hand. Thus I urge to please respect both the topic and other posters/readers. As for your question; I do not know why you pursue this line of enquiry so relentlessly. Your insinuation however points that I am lying thus your intention is clear hence my reply.

As everyone has stated, the Get Out bit was brilliant. Also, "A Fellow of 'Infinite Jest?'" I see what you did there.

I see everything you do, Benjamin.

ShermTank7272:
"Don't you mean second sequel, Yahtzee?"
...
...
"GET OUT."

Fucking hilarious

I liked bioshock 2 :'(

So glad Bioshock 2 got the slap it deserved. I personally also think the 1st Bioshock is a bit overrated too - a 7/10 game for me, simply because of all the chore like running around looking for ammo you have to do if you let loose blasting, but it was still a good game and seems like the REAL sequel is worth a look.

Do you respawn like in Bioshock 1, or have they changed that now? It totally killed the game's challenge for me.

So is it worth splurging my valuable moneys on this game?

Yeah, Ryan wasn't the villain of Bioshock, Fountain was. The subversive fucker that subverts Randism, remember?
Aslo, Comstock wasn't that much of a racist, actually. Columbia was, yeah, with purple KKK and all that, but wasn't Comstock himself an equal repression asshole?

Wew, this is getting more time-consuming than i thought it could.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

Ok, i was exaggerating, i didn't actually meassure the time when i was going through it, but then again, considering it is "interactive", you could easily prolonge the time neaded to 20 minutes. But obviously that's not the point, that's never the point of exaggeration, point is, it is pretty long, but then again, compared to other story based-games, this appears to be in the current trend. I think, they could have just made it something like a cut-scene,

I would have hated a cutscene, and I think the ending was splendid, but hey, to each his own.

Yeah, nothing to add to that i think.

Ey, you cut half of my well placed spoiler tags! XD But then i think it won't matter very much in this thread anymore...

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

*snip*

but then again, every form of immersion is subjective, that's what it is all about, the question is how the player character is designed to deliver this immersion, if you are just "watching over the shoulder", as you guide the character through the game, but know it is an independet character, or if you are able to make every/most meaningfull decisions and thereby influence the character and the game itself (and some other possible forms to create a character). BioShock (and BS2) had a "nameless, faceless" protagonist, of whom you could still get to know some interesting background story, but which were basically "blank slates" to be filled by the player, down to several game influencing situations and "individual" endings derived from them. This makes for very good immersion, close to no matter who is playing. For DeWitt, he has a face and a name and a story being a crucial part of the main story itself, which is determined to break the immersion with some players going through the game. Now, i don't even see this as one of the major problems of the game, but it conflicts with the point of possible identification throughout the game and also with, as already mentioned, some of the "illusive choices", which then have no real impact throughout the game

This isn't even a question of immersion being subjective, it's an issue of conflating immersion and identification. In Bioshock 1, you were meant to project your character onto the protagonist and identify. In Infinite, the character has it's own personality and will act accordingly. You can be immersed in someone esle's life without agreeing with all their actions.

Yes, you are right on that one and in hindsight i see i should have been more specific about it and the "other possible forms to create a character" - i didn't want to conflate the two things, but usually they are connected within games with a heavy focus on the characters...
I wanted to contrast the two most opposite forms of player character i can think about in any game (with characters for that). For me, those perfectly reflect how the respective player characters in BioShock and Infinite are done: On the one side the character you could not only project yourself onto, but could control the choices to make through gameplay, on the other side the one with an individual personality you could not project on and i would say barely even identify with (at least i'm not able to identify with a 40+ years old ex-agent, who lost his wife, "sold" his daughter and then got so traumatized he would brand himself... but maybe some others can, though i don't know if this would be a good thing?), neither through actions/ gameplay throughout the whole game -> therefore, for me no immersion whatsoever was possible, which i find lacking in a story-/character based game. I just thought about some other designs to further compare: "Walking Dead" (i pretty much just started to play), which i think creates immersion very well, though you "only guide individual characters through the game", because it is easier to identify with characters who appear like "everyday peops" (aside the zomby-apocalypse), who have to deal with everyday problems, like savety-concerns-> fear, trust, caring about other people,... and you still are able to define the actions throughout the game. Or "Dishonored", which has rather crappy narrative and a character i can identify with as well as i can with DeWitt, but the gameplay still let's me take enough control to navigate through the game and decide how to deal with the plot to fully immerse (and by that gave me one of the most interesting game moments i had last year), though that one scene was breaking it hard XD.
But then again, isn't immersion subjective?

Stephen Sossna:

I also get the feeling you missed a crucial part of the plot: Constants and variables - has killed, kill, will kill. You coudln't influence these decisions because they are constants. What you could influence were the variables. And these were certainly not illusory, as I will explain below:

Soak:

yes, depending on weither you attempt to throw the ball at the announcer or the couple has an influence on a later situation and makes the couple either give you a gear, or attack you, but honestly, it still is nothing more than illusion and has no real impact throughout the game, starting with how the situation at the ralley resolves, neither later, when a body-count of +-2 makes no difference at all. and the other "choices" have even less meaning/impact throughout the game

By what standard do you call these choices illusory? Because they didn't result in a different ending cutscene?

Hm, no, i would say i did get it. But as you brought it up yourself, we can now both smartass a bit about it :)

First thing i can think of: Why would a man drowning an alternate version of himself by any means be a constant, as it is in the game? If anything, i would think about it as a paradox. But then again, the game appears to be full of paradoxes.
Though, how can to row or not to row, the flip of a coin and the picture of a neclace be variables, while the conclusion comes down to appearantly to the same/ a constant in that matter (of dorwning DeWitt before he becomes Comstock)? While i do see through the conclusion, how they would call it "infinite", this itslef conflicts with my understanding of infinite, or constant, or variable.
But those things were already discussed much more exact by others and in the end, it still is all just theory.
However, another thing to me are the choices themselves, because, while they are in a way part of the narrative, they are also part of the gameplay: I call them illusive by philosophical standarts! If you are presented with a "choice", for example to press button a or b, but both buttons would actually have the same function, you never had a choice to begin with, but maybe to not press any buttons (simplified, as you may know, this is a huge part in the theories/ discussions about free will).
Looking at the game again, to me this is everything the game presents us with. You have two options about at whom to throw the ball, in a way 3 actually, you can let the time run out and it looks as if DeWitt would attempt to drop the ball (just tested it), but the resolve of the situation is the exact same: You aren't even able to throw/drop the ball and a fight breaks out. So for that, there is no meaning to the "choice" within the game. Given, later you meet the couple again and they react accordingly (at least that's what i've read - but then, how would they even know, maybe i was aiming for the paperboard tree in the background or something), but if they give you are gear, which you probably won't use anyways, who knows what it will do, or if they attack you and you kill them doesn't make a difference either, for throughout the game you kill so many people you never get to know. And, as already said, all the other choices have even less impact. Though it is right, that the simple thought about the "choice" comes with a bio-chemical reaction within your body and to press button a or b makes a physical difference, "something different" happens... but if you then look at your statement of constants and variables again, all those possible "choices" to take would either have to have the same value, or the set of possible answers to the whole equation is rather large, mathematically speaking. And therefore, they are "illusive choices". In a way, this even includes your statement about the conclusion, that in a way, you have done everything "right", to make it to this end. Well, the game itself obviously has no possible way of "failure", so in that the value of "right" or "wrong" becomes obsolete. As i see it, this even gets to a higher sphere, as you literally void all your actions through the game at the end.
Now, as i understand it, you like it that the game is "wrapped" like this. I... still don't know if i like the "wrapping", however i definetly dislike the lack of proper gameplay and think, seldom this "wrapping" is even able to make an excuse for the lack of this (as it does in "Burn the Rope" for example") and to me, not in this game, not under all the circumstances already described. I want to play a good game, if/ when i only want a good story, i read a book!

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

Ehm, yeah, OBJECTION or something ^^
Hype and false advertising are obviously entwined most of the time, as for this case. As i was trying to point out already, if ME3 wouldn't have had such good titles leading to it, it wouldn't have been hyped and if the developers/marketing wouldn't have promoted an amazingly complex ending and 'yadidadida', it probably wouldn't have been raged about. As for the relation of developers and marketing: Well, i'm not sitting in a game-studio myself, but i have been sitting in a company as a worker in conflict with the marketing of the company myself and i had to leave. I don't and can't really know (unless they would make it transparent in any way), how much "conflict" there ever was between the developers and the marketing in this case, but i do know that the marketing can not promote, what the developers aren't providing them with, considering gameplay trailers, or at least, the developers would have a choice to differentiate themselves from the marketing done, if it isn't showing what they are actually doing - though i can understand that developers often wouldn't do this, considering it will likely cost them their jobs. However, if you know about "injustice", are in the position to, but won't act about it, you make yourself responsible of "failure to assist" or what's it called in english, i don't know for sure; though this is not even supposed to be a trial and probably would not hold up against well payed lawyers saying otherwise/ contracts made which insist, developers won't talk about anything their publisher wouldn't want them to talk about in the first place, but it tells us something about their moral.

I've never played any ME title, so I wouldn't know about that (though I did notice people hated the ending). Anyways, my point was that sure, you can use false advertising to spur a hype, but that doesn't mean that a hype cannot form without it.

Soak:

However, they made "false advertisment" and by that incited the hype, promoting things throughout the whole course of development, which then where missing in the actual game!

Considering the first trailer, I can somewhat agree. I honestly didn't even know that trailer, and apprently that was for the best. It is clear that the trailer features preciously little actual gameplay and is mostly scripted. Many of the concepts somewhat made it into the game (huge guns are certainly there, as are water puddles to amplify shock, though that is arguably much less awesome-looking). The biggest Problem is that the trailer heavily emphasizes the telekinesis aspect, which apparently was completely scrapped.

That said, this is a three year old trailer, so I really don't think it would be fair to claim that this is the thing everyone based their decision to buy the game on.

No, but it influenced me, as it did a rather big poirtion of those who followed the announcments. And i would have simply appreciated it, if they ever made a clear statement like "well, you know the trailer we showed you first, barely anything of gameplay in the actual game is based on this, so, better forget it..."

Stephen Sossna:

The second trailer you mentioned is obviously quite a different beast, because it was pretty much the main promotion for the game during development. And it is very faithfull to the actual game.

1:00 Comstock as a politician, so what? The Trailer did say nothing about the storyline, so that is just a random detail.
1:08 counter for vigors: Obviously a balancing consideration. What is wrong with the salt system?
4:15 Happens almost exactly the same way in the game. How you can say that the in-game scene is "not comparable" is entirely beyond me.
6:30 no - just a scripted scene. The point?
8:00 So in the trailer, we allegedly see "real choice" while in the real game, the decisions you listed are "not true choice". You make a long explanation, but none of your reasoning has anything to do with choice.
8:25 True, that mechanic isn't used. Wouldn't change much though, would it? It's not like the battles aren't tactical as is.
8:45 There are "doorway" tears, in fact there are plenty. They have just been changed to freight hooks above doors, probably because that is easier to code.
9:20 Yeah, that would have been cool. Moving train cars and movable tears are actually missing.
10:15 So you wanted additional limits in the game? I cannot see how that is a gameplay feature that was ommitted.
12:00 Oh I switched mid-riding plenty. You usually don't have to, but those thing are in the game. What is actually missing is the moving train cars.
12:45 Well, I had plenty of dudes on my airships, on hard. So apparently, the answer is yes. In fact, this scene is pretty much exactly the same in the game.

So we are sitting at one thing in the trailer that is missing. Two things if you are generous: Moving tears in general and moving skyline cars. I am not surprised these things are missing, but if you want you can call that false advertising. But you are certainly not claiming that exact feature was what made you buy the game.

1:00 so... i was expecting an antagonist who is cunning, probably pulls the strings from behind the curtain and would've overall been more interesting. This is further extended later in the trailer, when DeWitt and Elizabeth state they would look for him to ask for help and through interviews about the trailer/ characters. Now, as i think about it, even if they originally had presented him as a religious figure, i would have still expected more of them, considering they already did a rather well "religious" antagonist in Sophia Lamb (again, BS2, maybe you wanna play that one despite the "hate" it seems to have earned :), instead of this bland, boring "i'm gonna go zealot all over the place" villian. Even actual religious institutions can do better than this XD.
1:08 It would probably have made for more tactical gameplay, that's what i can imagine, at least it would have been "new", other then the salt system being as generic as most resource-systems in generic shooters... and that's what it makes it, more generic and, they didn't revise it.
4:15 then, maybe i was half asleep during that part, but i can't remember her kneeling over a horse, desperately trying to "revive" it, while you get the option to shoot it or not. Yes, you get the "infront of a french theater" scene, but it appeared much less emotional to me.
6:30 how about they stop putting scripted scenes which appear to show gameplay in their trailers?!
8:25 if the battles are already tactical enough or not, is another point, still, it's something missing, isn't it?
8:45 except that this doorway was supposed to be passable, while the hooks are just there for gaining movement/ high ground in the battles, so no, it is not the same
10:15 as for more tactical/ tense gameplay, yes, that would have been nice and what's shown is shown, what's given is then another thing
12:00 yes, you can switch mid-riding, but you are never really forced to. you could ride the same rail in circles for hours and noone would care about it (except maybe if there's a handyman nearby) and when there are crates on the track, they are only there to mark a dead end and if you ride in them, nothing happens. However either of us puts it, they show a part which isn't in the game like that.
12:45 well then, good for those who start on hard, but still lacking on lower difficulties and those are included in the overall experience of a game.

so, when i look at it "generous", there are still 9 things in this trailer which are misleading, not considering the first and all the other interviews. Yes, i do call that false advertisement and many of these things were what got me excited about the game in the first place. If i would have ever known what i would really get, i... probably would have bought it anyways, because the steam pre-purchase was an awesome deal, but to me, it still is disappointing.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

Now we could find out what is subjective and what is of measurable quality in a narrative, but i don't really feel like it right now :).

That is probably wise, yes.

Soak:

Instead, i would again just like to point out the comparison to the former BioShock: You didn't have to, but you could find out so much about the background stories of all those you encountered (every area, every named and even some unnamed enemies you would find) throughout playing it and even some more (sidestories told about characters you would never encounter, further establishing the whole background story of Rapture - and say what you want, but there are only half the amount of Voxophones in Infinite present and to me many of those appeared to be only half as interesting)

The "half the voxphones" criticism ignores that you actually get to meet quite a few columbia inhabitants in person, whereas in Bioshock, your only interaction with the inhabitants was through Voxphones. I feel that this sort of comparison isn't quite honest. And of course just saying they are "less interesting" comes down to personal taste. I guess they did not feel the need to display everyday Columbia life via Voxphone the way they displayed everyday Rapture life because, you know, you actually see the everyday Columbia life.

Hm, as i see it, the comparison is very honest and quite fitting. In Rapture, you could still observe the "inhabitants" and when i did for the first time, i was so impressed with it (about 10 minutes of possible "dialog" for every enemy-class in BioShock, plus roughly 10 minutes for every unique enemy, of which big portions you could only hear by listening to them when they wouldn't have spotted you is an afford never made before), while about 95% of the inhabitants in Columbia are just "there", whithout doing anything, as already described in many discussions about it, it is similar to Disneyland (i actually wasn't in any Disneyland yet, but i guess it is similar to most theme-parks for that), where you go through it, everything looks wonderfull, but you know it's just staged.
And yes, the "less interesting" may come down to personal taste, but in another way, you could even cut down some of the content considering Voxophones and environment/ inhabitants, as it comes down to "our father is good/bad, the Vox is good/bad, the other races are inferior/ narcist" or something like that most of the time.
For example, when listening to Ryans diaries, sure you could say that his talk about "the parasite" is sometimes repetetive as well, but he presents different ideas much more often than Comstock, who is pretty much about nothing else than "prophecy, prophecy, archangel-talk, i'm frightened of the tear-stuff, religious-talk". The Voxophones i found exciting in Infinite were most of those from Lady Comstock, Rosalind Lutece, those from the alternate/ future Elizabeth and the few from Preston E. Downs! As i see it, E. Downs is about the only one really presenting an emotional and "deep" background-view, as many of the logs from BioShock did, while the rest of observing the "inhabitants" of Columbia is not much more than watching mannequins.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

, plus the actions you took within the game actually had impact on the outcome (not in the best way designed, but it was very cool at the time the game was made and further increases immersion, which isn't as good in Infinite, making it a more complex, better narrated game. I can just imagine how cool it would have been to implement this into Infinite again, that your choices actually matter and that you would get different endings derived from those, blending perfectly into the premise of multiple dimensions. I am sad they didn't do that, yes, that is as subjective as it gets, but they certainly would have had the time and money and other recources to have done it and probably even better than in BioShock. They did otherwise and i respect that as an artistical statement, nonetheless i can still mention it.

Yes, you can mention it, but if you seriously argue that the Bioshock 1 ending is not utter Bullshit compared to the Infinite ending, I think you have a bad taste in storytelling, no offense. The morality System in Bioshock 1 completely undermined the entire first three Acts of the game, but I think the criticism of that ending is well documented so there is no need going over it here again.

...and that is exactly why i said the BioShock's ending is not designed in the best way, but "original" at the time it came out, why i can also state i think BioShock 2 already did better and Infinite could have done even better... and while that is wish talk, that was my point in the first place.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

Oh hell i can find lots of points to complain about the combat! The fact, that they did barely improve the points already criticized in BioShock, while they had said recources, knew about the problems, they could have changed them, but they didn't, is nothing but lazy design.

Actually, I encourage you to play one of the more recent shooters that is known for good gunplay, say Max Payne 3. Once I did that, I realized just how well implemented Bioshock combat was. Shooting from cover without pressing extra buttons, getting around the map quickly, actualy tactical choices. But yeah, the bullet-spongy enemies are a big issue, especially in the last third of the game.

Soak:

"Hacking" is now gone, or in a way replaced with that "charm" Vigor, which makes the combat more "fluent", considering you can fire it at any machine and know it now works for you for a set amount of time, but also less complex, compared to the former hacking, where you had to carefully look for the mechanical defences and sometimes plan on how to deal with them and as i liked it even more in BioShock 2, when you wanted to hack them in combat, you often got under preassure not to lose sight of your enemies and the hack-bar, unless you wanted to get toasted one way or another, or both ways.

I haven't played Bioshock 2, but hacking in Bioshock one lost it's novelty factor really quickly. It was terribly easy and boring. But thats subjective too, I guess.

Soak:

And here are the gears again... which replace the tonics from BioShock, which were well implemented in the game lore, were scattered throughout the game in set places, often secret (and there were lots more secrets in BioShock to reveal) and could make for nice combos, complementing the playstyle you would chose. The gear on the other hand has no connection to the lore (why would my hat set my sky-hook on fire?), is randomized on pickup and therefore may or may not complement your playstyle/ make for good combos (as i already stated in another post, i had a very wicked situation with gear, considering i had one for a long time which was completely useless to me, actually had a malus on what i originally wanted to do ("tunnel sight" or something it's called, one of the few with a malus), but i couldn't switch it out because i wouldn't find another piece for the slot for half the game, while i had one in another slot from close to the start, which would make me close to invulnurable whenever near a sky-device, which made for horribly broken combat).

With that I can probably agree, though in terms of gameplay effect, once you had a few pieces of gear, the difference to the tonics is neglibible at best.

Soak:

And compared to the Big Daddys (and Big Sisters for that), which you could chose when to fight or when to use for yourself to beat up others, while in Infinite you just get some "heavy hitters" sent against you in scripted situations which then would act like nothing but boring bullet sponges (i remember, when you get before the Bank of Columbia the first time, i big fight breaks out and at some point a handy-man appears. So i would just use the sky-line present to avoid him whenever possible, gun down the legions of other enemies, save him for last and then still need another minute just to finish him off because of his huge health bar).

I don't get what makes the "choose the start of the fight" bit so important. It basically gave you a tactical advantage over the big daddies.

Soak:

Not to mention how the major part of gameplay as "super powers" (be it "Psionics", "Plasmids" or now "Vigors") is cut down on every title, making for easier/more simple, but less creative ways to use (Cyclone trap basically got implemented into all other Vigors, but would miss the push-ability, which was one of the best parts about it; Decoy is now implemented in tears, which are only axcessable in set places; Scout is missing in any form; the interaction with surroundings is seldom present and as already mentioned, but in my opinion most dissapointingly, Telekinesis is gone - and no, Undertow isn't Telekinesis, but more of a Sonic Boom which is only accessable for the last /10 of the game).
And while in System/ BioShock you had to "plan" on what to use, which "power to the people" station to use for what weapon upgrade, or on which Plasmid/Tonic to use your ADAM, in Infinite you just throw an amount of (random generated) money at whatever you want to use/try out.

So the only things actually missing are scout and telekinesis, and what was added is a trap function for every vigor, plus vigor combos. Totally cut down the complexity! And it should be noted that you do not have unlimited money, so weapon and vigor upgrades are still limited (though arguably a little less so). I only had 3 weapons and 4 vigors really upgraded.

Well, in a way you have axcess to unlimited amounts of money: If you would sit in a part of a game, where you let your enemies constantly respawn, kill them and by that farm their money... but that would be utterly boring and totaly destroy the flow of the game, but nevertheless, while the development of your character in BioShock was "structured", though the exact monitoring of your resources, which would apply to what and where you could spend it, Infinite just throws everything randomly at you, which may or may not do for good character development... which i think is a bad design. And, while i don't know every Gear present in Infinite, in my experience the Tonics, Plasmids and weapons would make for a much better overall compatibility than they do in Infinite, some of them were able to be comboed as well and by that kind of "trump" the gameplay of Infinite, which (as said as well) in many ways stayed uneccessarily bad in gameplay/ combat, as BioShock already was.

Stephen Sossna:

Soak:

Well, i didn't expect Infinite to be more like SystemShock, i didn't even expect it to be "more like" BioShock. As from what i had seen and heard and read throughout the whole process of development i expected it to stand for it's own, but at least be as good as BioShock gameplay-wise. Though, i wasn't even as "hyped" as some others, i confess i was more hyped about Infinite than on any other game so far, but then i never was really hyped about any other game to begin with and i was still skeptical, which "promises" they made through trailers/ interviews and whatnot they would keep in the end.
Now, if i made a list of pros and cons about any Shock title i've played, sure there would be cons on any title, but i never said any of them would be perfect. But as i think about it, Infinite has much more cons and much less pros than any other title and this is simply out of balance (i would like to point out the different recources available to make them again) and even more out of balance considering all the good reviews it got.
So who am i to judge? Well, who is anyone to judge? Seriously, if the majority of "professional critics" isn't able to see and point at any of these flaws, but "blindly" praises Infinite and thereby do nothing but to follow the "hype", they just failed their profession! For myself, i am just a fan (and i rarely consider myself a "fan", but on this one it's true) of the former Shock-titles who sees how the franchise gets grinded down to a generic and for that even "bad" shooter with "some more story to tell" and i tell what i think about it, because it either gets "better again" in the future, or i stop playing and therefore buying the games of the series (which Levine hopes to bring out a title on a regular basis now) and as a customer, i have every right to do so!

Sure you are entitled to your opinion, but whether you can convince other people to share it is quite a different matter. I think whether or not this game is better than the first Bioshock is a question of taste. I guess if you liked the older "shock" titles, Bioshock 1 would appeal more to you, but Infinite is definetly in the same Ballpark as far as quality goes.

Sure, for us it comes down to taste, subjectivity and opinions.
And i wouldn't even want to "convince others" to share my taste XD.
I'm not even interested in convincing others to share my opinion, which i know is often dissatisfying hard, even more when the dicsussing parties start to simply ignore arguments. But, as with all the articles presented on the Escapist, discussions and video-statements about the matter, it is interesting, to learn more about the topic and yourself, through discussion, to form a wider view on the matter and so on and so forth...
And through that i'm still not able to agree, but even became more conflicted with the idea that Infinite would fall anywhere close to BioShock in terms of overall quality.

arsenalabu:

Kris D'Arienzo:

Friederich:
Dear Yahtzee, what does Bioshock Infinite have to do with Infinite Jest ? Which I'm currently halfway through, so don't spoil it for me.
Or is it just for the infinite?

Very likely he's referring the line from Hamlet. Where Hamlet holds the skull of the court jester in his hand and says, "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!"

The point being a double reference on the surface to the fact that Yahtzee is very funny guy. But on a deeper level he's also claiming to be much less happy than he appears. All of which he is saying ironically (I think).

And good on you for reading DFW's master work. It's a brilliant book and should be read with access to an online OED, DSM IV-TR, Stedman's Medical Dictionary, and the smartest philosophy major you can kidnap. At least that was what I needed in order to understand what was going on.

I thought he was just hammering home the pretentious point. It's a good book, but it does at times get a bit too enamored with itself. The entire ending

was a bit pretentious in how DFW chose to write it.
Kind of like what Yahtzee was saying about Bioshock Infinite.
Or maybe it was Hamlet.

No question DFW gets a bit too "Look at all the interesting ways I can manipulate plot, structure etc. etc."

It was unquestionably pretentious but that always seemed to me as something done on multiple levels for multiple types of readers. And I thought, or at least I want to believe, that was what Yahtzee was doing too.

NWJ94:
Now in a regular (non extremist objectivist) society plasmids, with their negative side effects, would be a controlled substance. But in Bioshock because Ryan is so determined to keep the government from interfering with trade he refuses to do so. As a result, short sightedness in the population causes an arms race as people splice more and more to keep ahead (as I recall because of the rioting and civil war).

Yes, but in a non-extremist objectivist society where people are in general just as short sighted as in Rapture, you would see the exact same result.

If the populace in general is too [insert negative quality here] to do [insert something intelligent or pragmatic here] why should a democratically elected leader or government bureaucracy composed of said people be any different?

AdamG3691:

Marik Bentusi:
My experience with Infinite was basically this.

No idea how Yahtzee thought Bioshock Infinite's ending was tied up tho

think of it this way:

now if you've been excusing me, I'll need to have been sitting down to get my sense of time back in order

Sorry for the late reply.

To be honest, if I review it I give it a 8/10

I do have the Bioshock infinite and I indeed enjoy the look and sound, however I really didn't enjoy the story and characters so much. Now I'm not saying it's a bad game, far from it. The visuals is beautiful, sound are immersive and the characters are well rounded in a way, but the motive and story for me is a little off. I don't know what it is that bug me but I find the story not that joyful or interesting. I find the plan for the main villain bit senseless or building up to him from the world and voxaphones being little disappointing. I can't really say about it, maybe I'm not making things any better( as the world gets worse and worse) or I find the ending profound but kinder confusing and maybe be better before the 3rd act. I'm not sure what to say but it is a good game but I find the story and characters be too simple for the world or too complex to go anywhere.

I would also like if you have choses in the game like bioshock. Not where you pick good or evil choses but where you could help people or not in whatever style you pick, as your actions tell you how the ending can be. You can even not make the morals forceful like bioshock, however there are sense in this game that you want to help people or do differently but couldn't, as you are giving to a very linier experience. You could of have a situation where you sneck thro groups of people but see a man being bated and sent to death harshly unless you stop it by your chose, making the path harder but gaining the better reward and feeling your interact the world with effect. But basically I felt that your just in a theme park or art gallery and being tolled to be quite and enjoy our work whenever you like it or not. I recently herd that the game was to give you more ways to play the game, however it didn't come to be on the final product. Even thou bioshock infinite would not work with choses for its narrative, however it would give you the sense your making a different and see things in a better light (maybe multi endings) then just play it and see the city to a dystopia like rapture.

Finally, I can't say much about the story; however it does feel like the new doctor who series, when adding plot clues, time dimensions and character connections, would just hurts your mind if you think about them hard enough.

Well review Yahtzee

(Also sorry for the late comment, this game taken me really long time for me to think about it, until I seen VideoGamerTV on youtube and gave me a better picture just before I wrote this)

1337mokro:

Sums up a lot of what was going through my mind as I played it. The whole time, I kept thinking "This is awfully linear. Too linear. I'm just following an arrow through roadways and corridors and set pieces and cut scenes, with the occasional small building holding stuff on the side." I greatly preferred the map from the original Bioshock, which allowed you to reach your destination in a way that didn't insult your intelligence as much.

I'm glad he mentioned the removal of multiple ammo types (regular, hallow point, armor piercing etc.) because that's also one of the things that really bugged me about the game, having played Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas in sequence beforehand. They took out a vital element of depth and strategy that set the series apart and went for a more mainstream "DARR U PICK UP DA GUNN N DEN POINT IT AT DA GUIZE N SHUTE UM" approach. Speaking of which, the enemies in the game were a real let down: a bunch of generic, armored up military grunts. Whoop-de-god-damned-do. Remember the splicers from the original Bioshock? Talk about enemies with actual personality, who were actually entertaining-as well as frightening in a survival horror sort of way-to fight, instead of making you feel like you were playing Call of Duty. And that plus the cinematic railroading style mentioned in the first paragraph kept reminding me of; and I've never even played a Call of Duty game! In fact, I've even considered the nickname "Shock of Duty" to refer to Bioshock Infinite. Elizabeth's presence doesn't help, functioning like an immortal squad mate who makes shit appear instead of blowing it up.

As for the characters, I can't say I like them that much, either. Comstock is a generic "I am a narcissistic religious messiah wannabe white supremacist domestic abuser so you know I am evil" villain with none of the personality or motivational depth of Andrew Ryan or Sophia Lamb. Elizabeth herself is nothing special, the kind of "broken bird" character we've seen a thousand times before. Booker I absolutely detested. That generic, overly macho early-mid 20th century detective-cum-soldier stereotype made me enjoy controlling his character a lot less. And the interaction between the two didn't inspire much in me besides groaning Like an earlier poster said, I was much more touched by the relationship between Delta and Elanor Lamb in Bioshock 2, perhaps because Elanor was a less grating and more likeable character and Delta made the wise decision not to open his mouth. Booker and Elizabeth's interactions just smacked of typical Hollywood schmaltz.

At least now I understand what some of the die hard System Shock fans felt about Bioshock. I can't really compare the two that much since it's been over a since I played the former, but Bioshock always struck me as a more streamlined way of going about the System Shock style, with more than enough complexities that it still stands out amongst others in its genre rather than just being a "watered down" System Shock. Bioshock Infinite, however, is a "watered down" version of Bioshock, a pastiche of modern-day fairweather AAA shooters with just enough coats of paint over it to call itself Bioshock, or even have Shock at the end of the title. What I find interesting is how Yathzee made this very complaint in his Bioshock review way back in 2007, summing it up as "dumbed down for consoles", yet here he is singing praises of a game that, in my opinion, sums up aforementioned fault much more (though he did seem to retcon his original opinion and imply that Bioshock's gameplay improved on System Shock 2's, rather than regard it as a step down as he had once stated).

I still liked the game overall, though. I'm just disappointed that it wasn't the game it ought to have been, due to all the sacrifices and/or oversights that ended up in the game's design and gameplay. Something tells me once the ooh's and ahh's over the game's style finally start to die down, we're going to ourselves less than ecstatically enamored with its overall substance.

Kuuenbu:
In fact, I've even considered the nickname "Shock of Duty" to refer to Bioshock Infinite.

I myself would have gone with Call of Columbia: Multiverse At War.

For the rest I agree with you, though I did like the character interactions and overall set up from time to time. It's just that the characters were never explored in depth. They were there to fill a slot especially with how the multiverse works I mean we don't even know which Comstock we killed or even which Booker we eventually ended up with considering how the respawn system works! Last time I counted we had skipped 5 universes before we did the Comstock skull cracking so characterization was practically impossible from the very start.

It is certainly not a horrible game, it's middle of the road for me, but I just can't stand 90% of the internet telling me the story should have made me cream my pants because it was so good and that it is a GOTY.

I'd say they were all wearing Nostalgia goggles if it wasn't released last month. Maybe something like Shayamalan Beer Goggles where the twists surprised enough people to make them forget about anything else? Now we just need Ken Levine to make the Bioshock equivalent of the Happening to wake people out of the "What a twist!" stupor they are all in.

1337mokro:
For the rest I agree with you, though I did like the character interactions and overall set up from time to time. It's just that the characters were never explored in depth. They were there to fill a slot especially with how the multiverse works I mean we don't even know which Comstock we killed or even which Booker we eventually ended up with considering how the respawn system works! Last time I counted we had skipped 5 universes before we did the Comstock skull cracking so characterization was practically impossible from the very start.

I think my big issue with the character interactions (and overall characterization) is that their attempts to pair an overly stoic, "noir macho" male character with a hyper-feminine "Hollywood female" is supposed to produce tension and drama, but it just ends up trite and forced. Anyone worth their salt (heh) will tell you that using polarizing gender and personality archetypes to provoke chemistry is just lazy, lazy writing, and a sign of poorly applied characterization.

EDIT: Comstock also reminded me of one of my biggest pet peeves about the game, something which is also one of Yathzee's biggest pet peeves which he, for some astronomically indecipherable reason, never brought up: quicktime events. "Press X to have Booker do this action in a cutscene" was a really lame attempt at immersion, especially since you almost never had any choice in the matter. Half-Life did a much better job of this, having things happen to your character passively rather than ruin your suspension of disbelief by forcing actions upon him based on a wholly unlikable personality. What if I don't want to "comfort Elizabeth"? What if I would prefer to just have her drop the letter on the floor and pick it up myself? What if, on the rare occasion I have a choice, I want it to make a significant effect on what happens later? The original Bioshock did a similar thing, but it actually made sense and was actually clever when you took into account the game's overall narrative. Compare that to Comstock.

And there's no clever justification for this lack of control like in Bioshock. In Bioshock Infinite you're just getting an asshole from place to place so you can watch him act like an asshole, just like in every other fucking game on the planet where you control an asshole character. I don't doubt there's some justification contained within all the convoluted quantum sci-fi-o-babble, but I sure as hell can't make it out.

Bioshock Infinite: Would you kindly press X to shut Elizabeth the hell up? But only when we tell you, of course!

I don't know why people keep bemoaning the unexplained presence of Vigors. After the original BioShock it's clear that any sort of crazy shtuff can exist in the BioShock universe, and if they explained away every single mystery then not only would the game cease to be as interesting, but we'd have a jumbled mess of a narrative that tries to retread old ground in addition to forging a new path.
My point: BioShock's story revolved around Adam and the Little Sisters, so if BioShock Infinite's did something similar, it would just be unoriginal. I'm glad they chose to move on to a completely different focus instead.

Oh, and for those thinking that BioShock Infinite's narrative already is a jumbled mess, you really need to read some of the more extensive break-downs of it (the first link is my personal favourite). Some incredible stuff is pulled out that you just go "wow" at, such as the significance of the lighthouse combo lock (122) and the tally of heads on the blackboard (also 122).

"You see, sometimes it's kind of nice to be up somebody's butt."

... ... ... ...

Incidentally, Yahtzee still isn't gay.

x3

Extragorey:
I don't know why people keep bemoaning the unexplained presence of Vigors. After the original BioShock it's clear that any sort of crazy shtuff can exist in the BioShock universe, and if they explained away every single mystery then not only would the game cease to be as interesting, but we'd have a jumbled mess of a narrative that tries to retread old ground in addition to forging a new path.
My point: BioShock's story revolved around Adam and the Little Sisters, so if BioShock Infinite's did something similar, it would just be unoriginal. I'm glad they chose to move on to a completely different focus instead.

Oh, and for those thinking that BioShock Infinite's narrative already is a jumbled mess, you really need to read some of the more extensive break-downs of it (the first link is my personal favourite). Some incredible stuff is pulled out that you just go "wow" at, such as the significance of the lighthouse combo lock (122) and the tally of heads on the blackboard (also 122).

People don't bemoan the existence of vigors just because they're vigors. The problem is that they aren't explained or justified within the context of the game. By the way, Columbia and Rapture don't exist in the same "BioShock universe". They are both two possibilities. It's pretty basic multiverse theory. But anyway. In the original Bioshock the plasmids, ADAM and gene tonics were explained within the context of the game world. Someone discovered the slugs and then they realized they could extract ADAM and refine it and whatnot, thus giving superhuman abilities and properties to ordinary people. Then people did that too much and became splicers and thus, Rapture fell.

Vigors and salts are never explained within the context of Bioshock Infinite. Don't even get me started on "gear" which is completely ridiculous and random. If vigors and salt are so ubiquitous in Columbia, and they are, why aren't more people using them? That doesn't make any sense. Bad writing and bad game design.

THAT'S the big problem with vigors. Not that they exist at all, but rather the justification and explanation for why they exist in the game world.

Look, it's obvious that Levine and the other people at Irrational thought "hey, plasmids was a huge success in Bioshock, we need to get that into the next one too, especially since we've slapped the Bioshock name on it!" and then they just shoehorned it in there. Basically, this game would have been better off not using the Bioshock name at all. It only suffered from the references. I almost cringed my face off at the end when

Bullshit, that's just bad writing.

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